After the Ironman 70.3 on the 31-08-2014 I went back home to Graz the next day. Because of the weather I decided to go one holidays to Turkey for one week to do regeneration and relax from the hard work of the last weeks. The journey started on Wednesday Graz for one week to the south where temperatures were rather more summery than in rest of Austria.
Today after my return I just did a short run to get back on track even though I am not feeling well at all.
Tomorrow I am going to have a first meeting with my probable new coach to discuss some things e.g. goals and expectations from my side. I will tell you more in a later story.
After arriving at my Hotel in Bruck an der Glocknerstraße which is a neighboring place of Zell am See I made myself at home and warmed my precooked noodles for lunch. After that I went by car to Schüttdorf from where I walked to the Ferry Porsche Center in the centre of Zell am See for doing the registration for the Ironman 70.3. After that a friend and I visited the expo and went to the PEWAG lounge to get some coffee.
Fully energized we went back to Schüttdorf to pull our wetsuits on and making ourselves ready to get into the water make a short swim.
In the evening we first went to the “Kasnockenparty” and afterwards back to the hotel where I made some last preparations on the bike and the changing bags so that everything is ready for tomorrows bike check-in.
I had to get up early, about 6:30, so that I have got enough time for breakfast etc. because the race briefing started at 9:00 at Ferry Porsche Center. Fed with information about the course, rules and some other stuff concerning the race weekend I was motivated to do some shopping at the expo. I bought an Ironman t-shirt with the names of all participants on the back, am special Ironman 70.3 Zell am See tea cup and a brighter visor for my Casco Speedairo helmet.
After a second breakfast (small snack or however you call it 😉 ) we inspected the running track in the centre of the city. During the inspection we arrived at the seaside where the PEWAG Ironkids race started. Again it was time for a coffee at the PEWAG lounge where we could meet Marino VanHoenacker, who should win the race on Sunday btw, and take a photo with him.
Around lunchtime my parents and my girlfriend Laura arrived at the Hotel. After unpacking some stuff we went for lunch to a small restaurant on the other side of the street where I had again noodles 🙂 .
Later Laura and I went after a short photo shooting at the balcony of our hotel room, to the bike check-in. Further I showed Laura some of the spots in Schüttdorf and in Zell am See where the athletes will be. During that we made a short stop at the PEWAG lounge. Thereafter I went to bed immediately to be fit for tomorrow!
…the day I have been training for a whole year. At breakfast everything felt normal but later on in the shuttle bus I already felt a little bit nervous. In the transition zone for making a last check on the bike all the excitement was gone.
Warm-up time – first onshore afterwards in the lake!!! I was really surprised because since Friday when I was the last time in the water the temperature of the lake decreased a lot. It felt really cold. Not even the cold temperature of the sea could reduce my and the motivation of all other participants.
Start for the pros was at 10:00. At exactly 10:05 was the start of my starting block. My first race over this distance…so I had no idea what surprises this race has got for me. Already at the first meter I got a foretaste of what I was waiting for me the next 1.9km in this cold lake. From nearly everywhere I got a hit so that my rhythm got interrupted all the time. Additionally I got a group of slower swimmer in front of me so I could not choose my own speed. After a few minutes it was possible to swim normally – but just until the first buoy where the whole field of swimmers got crowed together again. Here we go again – another round of boxing and fighting and hoping that the time for normal swimming will be soon. After the turning buoy I could finally swim my personal speed although I could not swim in triple strokes because of some (for me unknown) reason the left side of my goggles was filled with water all the time. I came into the transition zone after swimming in about 35 minutes – this was not what I had expected but could have been worse as I had not experience with as many starters.
5:27 in the first transition zone for getting out of the wetsuit and getting into the whole bike suit.
On the bike I tried to have a good speed so that y muscles are warm for the climb to Dienten am Hochkönig. I more or less followed my plan riding with a good speed up to Dienten. After that I tried not to over pace at the climb to Filzensattel because I knew that this is just about the half of the 90km distance. Due to good inspection and a video of the course that we made in summer I knew all the critical turns during the downhill to village Mariaalm. I tried to make a compromise between speed and risk not having an accident. Thankfully the rain started not before I reached the second aid station. All of a sudden I was really happy that I had chosen a warmer suit for the bike course, even though it took some more seconds for getting dressed.
I reached the transition zone after 2:39:40 on the bike. This means even though there was huge climb one the course my mean speed slight below 34km/h.
Second transition took 3:51 which is mostly caused by the fact that I was not able to get out of my bike shoes and leave them on the bike.
My inexperienced plan for the half-marathon was to stay under 1:30. At the beginning I was able to run the pace I wanted to run. Soon I recognised that this goal will not hold. Already during the first of two rounds I had to reduce speed.
At the end I could finished the run in 1:45 and the whole half Ironman in 5:09:48. I did not reach my goal but I earned a lot of experiences. Next time I will again try to finish under 5 hours and hopefully things work better than this time.
Thank’s to the huge support of Laura, Matthias, Robert of my Mum and my Dad and for all the pictures!!! Thank’s also to all the other fans during the Ironman 70.3 in Zell am See. It was a great racing day even though the weather was not on our side.